Sunday, August 23, 2009

Good Thoughts Can Sometimes be Dumb Ideas...

Sunday, August 23, 2009....

Sometimes I get a brilliant thought which I believe to be a fabulous idea until I execute it. I would say this holds true with every household project I undertake by myself with no guidance. However, today's post has nothing to do with me destroying my home under the guise of beautifying it. Instead it is about a 'fun and EASY' evening I planned the other night.

Hubby is out of town. He went tuna fishing, but Hurricane Bill put an end to that thought. However, he's still away with his brother and I had some free time on my hands.

I thought, why not go see the Julie/Julia movie with a gf of mine, but cook one of Julia's meals prior to the movie. Not owning any Julia cookbook, I went to the bookstore to purchase her cookbook that made her a household name "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".

In addition to this book, I picked up several other cookbooks (like I need more cookbooks) and poured over the pages of them. Cookbooks are my version of crack to a crack addict. I become lost on the pages.

Originally, I planned a roast chicken + some veggie + chocolate mousse. My friend is limiting her carbs so I was tossing out the starch. However, she asked if I would make Beef Bourguignon and I said sure.

How hard could it be? I'm always braising foods in the winter (osso bucco, stew, ribs). The longer a dish cooks, the happier I am.

The directions were simple, intricate, but simple -- however, no store around me sells a SLAB OF BACON. What's up with that? Sliced bacon worked out fine. The meal was tasty, but I want to note the following:

1. Why did I have to flip to two additional recipes to make one dish? I had to cook the mushrooms and onions separately and an ill prepared person (me and the fact I sometimes have the attention span of a knat) may have not read the need for cheesecloth. Luckily, I was prepared. But I swear the cheesecloth I purchased resembled gauze more than cheesecloth. [Bonus for me when I fall again while racing for the phone, for a call I don't want, and bang up my knee (yeah, that happened - just call me grace-in-motion)].

2. Initially I thought Julia needed a little therapy as she stresses in each recipe to separate the meat, the mushrooms, the onions when browning them in the frying pan. After I got over my initial thought that she may be claustrophobic, I realized she wanted me to do this so the food would actually brown and not become mushy and soggy caused by steam if the food is too close together while cooking.

3. It is true. This woman loves butter. The mousse had 1 1/2 sticks of it in it (I have so much left over because my husband is the chocolate lover and not me).

4. I don't know if the food was FABULOUS. If you cook in 90 degree weather (yes the house has 2 window air conditioning units which don't seem to make it to the kitchen) you have no desire to eat or enjoy your work.

This meal took a total of 3 1/2 hours to prep and cook. Was it worth it? I think so. My friend enjoyed it. Well, she said she did. She saw the knives in the kitchen, knew how hot it was and possibly thought it best to say she enjoyed it to avoid a woman who may had become delusional from the heat.

We ended up drinking a great french wine and a bit of champagne before heading out. We both enjoyed the movie and I hope it spurs people to cook more at home.

Personally, I'd cook another Julia meal, but may wait until it is cooler and I have a sous chef to help.

21 comments:

otin said...

pretty much the only cooking I do anymore is homemade italian food and chili!

THE ACTORS DIET said...

it sounds like a lot of fun - after seeing "julie and julia" i really wanted to make something but between my high cholesterol and my hubby's vegetarianism....it ain't happening!

Jewels Diva said...

But did you like it?

I think if you don't like your own cooking then you know no one else will.

But then women are picky.

If you think it tasted great, then will you do it again, or will you cut back to just taking 1 hour to make a meal,lol.

JennyMac said...

You are So awesome! I am reading that book right now, can't wait to see the movie, and cant wait to make a mousse with 2.5 sticks of butter.

I have something for you. Put your cocktail dress on, and come over to the Awards party.

Dan said...

Cooking in the heat of summer and early fall is something best done via crock pot to avoid heating up the whole house.

Julia's love of butter pales next to mine. I love to cook with butter when I can afford the calories, but ...

author said...

you have two ac units in the house? damn, im so envious. what we have is just a small electric fan which is not even enough to cool a small part of the house, say the bathroom and the temperature in holland is hitting almost 30 these days.

i also like braising dishes, now if only i have more time in my hand (and more patience) i would do it everyday. kudos to your cooking.

Sunshinemeg said...

Was it good? Ha! Enjoy your week!

zurin said...

I just read the julie julia book. It was hilarious.:P have yet to c the movie. it hasnt come around to this part of the world yet.

congrats on ur cooking . Here in teh tropics its hot and humid all the year round. cookings a pain but we survive one way or another....perspiring most of the time tho. :)

erin said...

The other day when it was hazy hot and humid I had the bright idea to cook a giant pot of beef stew. It was torture even walking in the vicinity of that kitchen!

La La La Leah said...

3 1/2 hours to cook a dinner.... You crazy woman..... I can cut up 6 whole pineapple in 2 hours. You could have probably thrown all that in the crock pot that morning and it would have tasted the same... Well probably not the chocolate mousse.... ;)

Little Ms Blogger said...

Otin - homemade Italian food and chili is very yummy...October is going to be my Italian cooking month...

Actor's Diet - Julia is definitely not meant for people with high cholesterol, but oddly enough, all the fat makes you eat less.

Jewels - I enjoyed it more the next day, but you're right about being picky. I definitely am my hardest critic.

I would make again.

JennyMac - the movie took some liberties from the book, but very charming. I love all the characters in the movie. Meryl Streep does a great Julia.

Btw, thanks for the award...

Dan - I can't imagine anyone cooking with more butter than Julia. I think she even gives Paula Deen a run for her $$$..

author - ONE ELECTRIC FAN ...I'd be crying every day.

Interesting you mentioned patience because I was thinking this recipe was a good lesson in patience.

SunshineMeg - Yeah it was...it just took me a day to recognize the fact.

zurin - I guess I would adjust to the heat if I lived in it all the time, but I'm used to 4 seasons and have a greater tolerance for the cold than heat.

erin - I feel your pain

La La - NOOOO... you'd lose so much flavor if you didn't at least brown your meat prior to throwing in a crock pot.....

lacochran said...

You spent three and a half hours cooking a meal in a hot kitchen in August? YOU are a good friend!

Plus, I HATE embedded recipes. The worst is when you start a recipe on page 156 and to do it you have to first do a recipe on page 27 which in turn requires you to do a recipe on page 95. This is when I call Papa John's!

Stephanie said...

I really like that movie, but the Beef Bourguignon looked hard. I admire you for taking on that task. :)

Little Ms Blogger said...

lacochran - Embedded recipes bother me because I never really read the whole recipe while making out the shopping list....

Stephanie - it really isn't hard. Just time consuming.

Libby Murphy said...

That movie has inspired or dared a whole new generation of cooks to experiment in the kitchen - oh la la. Bon Appetit Julia!
Happy Twirls

Candice said...

3 1/2 hours? I would have cooked, cleaned, and hap a nap in that time frame. ;)

TudorCity Girl said...

Ha! I think it's such a cool idea you had. Yes, she sure does love butter but hey, she lived to her
90s, didn't she?
3.5 hours is a long time! I think in the fall/winter her meals will be great to make. I have to see the movie.
Hope hubbie got brought back some great, fresh tuna! I actually got some really good salmon the other day at Stews...for cheap!

TudorCity Girl said...

Ha! I think it's such a cool idea you had. Yes, she sure does love butter but hey, she lived to her
90s, didn't she?
3.5 hours is a long time! I think in the fall/winter her meals will be great to make. I have to see the movie.
Hope hubbie got brought back some great, fresh tuna! I actually got some really good salmon the other day at Stews...for cheap!

TudorCity Girl said...

Ha! I think it's such a cool idea you had. Yes, she sure does love butter but hey, she lived to her
90s, didn't she?
3.5 hours is a long time! I think in the fall/winter her meals will be great to make. I have to see the movie.
Hope hubbie got brought back some great, fresh tuna! I actually got some really good salmon the other day at Stews...for cheap!

miss rambles said...

you were cooking for 3 and half hours!!!!!

OMG!!

i bow down to your awesomeness...i see a kitchen and wanna run the other way.deteste cooking wit a passion.i always burn the food or myself or both and tht jst sucks!!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Libby - I think you're right.

Candice - I know crazy talk.

TudorCity - Absolutely, a perfect fall meal. --- Hubby's plans for tuna fishing were squashed by Hurricane Bill. :-(